As a second round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Carsen Edwards made some big moves to make the Boston Celtics roster in his first year. He was an explosive scorer that could get his own shot out of Purdue and proved his NCAA Tournament performance wasn’t a fluke by lighting up the Summer League. The Celtics had high hopes that he could be an off the bench scorer who would round out their rotation. In the first year, there was some growing pains, but it all set him up what was supposed to be a better sophomore year in the league. Unfortunately, Edwards was not really able to make that jump up in his development.
The 2020-2021 season from Carsen Edwards was up-and-down. The undersized shooting guard had stretches where he was a great scoring threat on a second unit, and then he showed at times he was not quite sure what was going on around him on the floor. This season he averaged 4 points, 0.5 assets, and 0.8 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3% from the field and a measly 28.6% from three. There was no sense of progression in his offensive game for this past season. The only major statistic that improved from his rookie season was his field goal percentage, but it all came on less minutes per game compared to the season before.
Even through a large amount of struggling to find his fit and role on this team, the positives of his game showed in flashes. There was a time this season where Marcus Smart was out and Kemba Walker was hobbled where Edwards got his minutes on a bigger stage. He had his one start of the season, and he really showed that he can be an offensive spark to this team. The keys for him is to take the confidence he showed in college and translate it to an NBA offense.
His best moments are when he is leading the offense up the court in transition and finds his rhythm into an open jumper. He has a smooth shot that can find the bottom of the net. His catch-and-shoot three-point numbers are better than his overall three point percentage and that can be a statistic to focus on moving forward. There are many instances around the league where a small guard can still impact the NBA game.
The problem Edwards had this season is that he was far down the depth chart for most of the games. The only time he really got on the floor was in garbage time and even then, really did not do himself any favors.
Another aspect of Edwards’ game to work on is his offense around the rim. As a true scorer, he has always struggled finishing around longer bodies close to the basket. This of course comes from his smaller size, but it does negatively impact the ceiling his offense can get to.
Heading into his third year, it will be do or die for Carsen Edwards. He will have to show that he can be an integral part of this rotation. Edwards has used all of his leeway on the roster and now is the time to show what he can bring to the bench unit. If not, he may just need a new start either to be traded or waived down the road to open up a roster spot.
All in all, Edwards does have that talent to be that explosive option off the bench to spark a second team run. He can score in transition or off the catch and shoot from behind the arc. The rest of his NBA game is very limited, so he will have to work on these things over the off-season. He may even get another chance at Summer League and possibly show out again in the desert. This is where he can show the new coaching staff his talents. Again, it is a make it or break it year for Edwards, so hopefully he can take that next jump up and contribute to a desperate Celtics bench.